How to comment on planning applications
Comments (also known as a representations) for current applications can be submitted online.
For the purposes of the GDPR, you'll need to register and consent to the processing of your data. You'll be asked to read the terms and conditions of use before registering.
You can also send in comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
Mid Devon District Council
For the purposes of GDPR, on receipt of your comments you'll be sent a copy of the privacy notice and guidance on how to comment on planning applications. You'll then need to advise us that you've read and understood these documents before we can process your personal information and representations.
Note: Please quote the planning application number in all correspondence.
Commenting on a planning application
Comments should be submitted during the consultation period in order that they may be fully considered. However, whilst they may be submitted up until the day the decision is made and still taken into account, this is not recommended.
Comments cannot be treated as confidential and all representations are published on our website and available for inspection at our office. Please do not include any information that you would not wish to be made public. Please ensure your comments are not offensive, inflammatory or libellous. If they are, they won't be considered by the Case Officer and your representation may be returned to you, or edited by us prior to publication.
Contributions must not:
- Contain any personal names, please use words such as applicant, neighbour, etc.
- Contain any personal information such as you're living on your own, you're on holiday next week etc.
- Contain any information relating to medical data for yourself or others; this is unlawful for us to process
- Contain any material which is defamatory of any person
- Contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory
- Promote sexually explicit material
- Promote violence
- Promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexuality orientation, or age
- Infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person
- Be likely to deceive any person
- Be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence
- Promote any illegal activity
- Be threatening, abusive or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety
- Be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person
- Be used to impersonate anyone, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with anyone
- Give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case, or;
- Advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only), copyright infringement or computer misuse
What should my comments include?
You should include your name and address with your comments but no other personal details such as private telephone numbers, email addresses or signatures. If these are submitted they'll be removed prior to publication, but if you don't submit your name and address we won't be able to add your comments. Please also identify which application your proposals relate to. You can read our privacy notice to understand how we process your personal information.
All comments received are considered but only those which raise material planning considerations are taken into account when deciding the application. You should consider whether the proposal would affect local buildings and facilities as well as the existing use of the land which should be protected.
What are material planning considerations?
Examples of material planning considerations include, but are not restricted to, the following:
- Local/Government Planning Policy and Guidance
- Highway safety and traffic levels
- Flood risk
- Impact on the appearance of the area
- Design, appearance, layout and materials
- Overlooking and loss of privacy
- Loss of light or overshadowing
- Noise, disturbance and smells resulting from the proposed development
- Conservation of buildings, trees and open land
- Need to safeguard the countryside or protected species of plant or animal
The Case Officer will not be able to consider:
- The developer's identity, morals, motives or past record
- Effect on the value of your property
- Loss of a private view
- Inconvenience or other problems caused by building works
- Private neighbour disputes
- Impact on private drainage systems
- Private property rights including rights of way or covenants
What about petitions?
If you think a lot of people agree with you about a planning application you can organise a petition.
If you decide to organise a petition, please make sure that:
- It clearly states the purpose of the petition
- It gives the reasons why people are supporting or objecting to the application
- The names and addresses of the people signing the petition can be easily read
- There is a contact name and address for the person organising the petition
Petitions can support as well as oppose planning proposals and will be published on our website together with other representations on the application. Please note however, individuals appearing on the petition will not be recorded separately on our records and signatures will be redacted before publication.
What happens after I submit my comments?
Due to the large number of representations received by the department, it is not possible to respond to individual comments. You may track the progress of the planning application using public access.
Most applications are decided by the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration under delegated powers rather than being decided by Planning Committee. All representations received are reviewed alongside relevant planning policies and guidance, prior to a decision being made. It's possible that the Case Officer may request further information from the applicant as a result of comments and as part of the assessment of the proposal.
Who makes planning decisions?
Planning applications which are not dealt with under delegated powers by officers go before the Planning Committee for determination. Planning Committee meetings are held every four weeks and are open to public attendance. One spokesperson for the applicant and one for the objectors will be allowed to speak on each application. In addition, a Parish Council representative can also speak. Spokespersons are allowed to speak for 3 minutes (ward members 5 minutes), after the Officer has presented their report. Please see more information about addressing the Planning Committee.
In the event of an appeal against a refusal of planning permission (which is to be dealt with on the basis of representations in writing), any representations made regarding householder applications will be sent to the Secretary of State and there will be no further opportunity for comments (at appeal stage).
Householder applications cover works such as an extension to an existing house or flat, the provision of a garage, summerhouse or shed in a domestic garden, or the installation of any solar panel, domestic wind turbine or antenna which needs specific planning permission.